Louisa May Alcott

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Date of Birth November 29, 1832
Place of Birth Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Date of Death Mar 6, 1888 (55)
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Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott was an American novelist, short story writer and poet best known as the author of the novel Little Women and its sequels Little Men and Jo's Boys. Raised in New England by her transcendentalist parents, Abigail May and Amos Bronson Alcott, she grew up among many of the well-known intellectuals of the day, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Alcott's family suffered from financial difficulties, and while she worked to help support the family from an early age, she also sought an outlet in writing. She began to receive critical success for her writing in the 1860s. Early in her career, she sometimes used the pen name A. M. Barnard, under which she wrote novels for young adults that focused on spies and revenge.

Born: November 29, 1832, Germantown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died: March 6, 1888, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Resting place: Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, Massachusetts, U.S.
Pen name: A. M. Barnard
Occupation: Novelist
Nationality: American
Period: American Civil War
Genre: Prose, poetry
Subject: Young adult fiction
Notable works: Little Women, Little Men, Jo's Boys, Eight Cousins

About Louisa May Alcott

American author of the classic novels, Little Women and Little Men. She used the pen name A. M. Barnard early in her career and, in her later life, became a well-known feminist and abolitionist.

Before Fame

During her youth, she worked as a teacher, seamstress, governess, domestic helper, and writer to help support her family. As a child, she studied with naturalist author, Henry David Thoreau, as well as with her father.


Her childhood experiences growing up in Massachusetts formed the basis of her novels.

Family Life

She was the second oldest of four daughters born to Abby May Alcott and experimental educator and prominent Transcendentalist, Amos Bronson Alcott. She and her sisters-- Anna, Elizabeth, and Abigail-- were the inspirations for the fictional sisters (Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March) in Little Women.


She grew up reading the literary works of family friend, Ralph Waldo Emerson.

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Latest information about Louisa May Alcott updated on October 28, 2020.

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